Starting up smart

Here are four tips for growing a business.

August 18, 2011
Kristen Hampshire

Dave Stracka, president, D.S. Enterprises Lawn & Landscaping and Cherry Valley Landscape Center shares his tips for growing a business in tough times – or any time, for that matter.

Keep credit shiny. When opportunity knocks, the bank will back you if your credit is squeaky clean. Otherwise, good luck. “I don’t think a lot of business owners understand how important credit is,” Stracka says. “If you want to grow your business, you have to have good credit because there will be a time when you need equipment or materials for a big job.” No credit, no sale – no work.

Charge premium prices. Customers who value quality are willing to pay for it, that’s what Stracka has found. So he doesn’t play in the price-cutter arena. He doesn’t even watch that game. Instead, he focuses on working harder and doing the best job possible. “And, we watch our overhead expenses, of course,” he adds.

Take measurable risks. Without risk there is no gain. But Stracka didn’t go into his landscape center plan blindly. He knew he’d have a market advantage because there was no competition in the area with his business model to be a one-stop shop.

Think like your customer.
For Stracka, figuring out what customers would want from a landscape center was easy. He had been a customer of a good dozen for 15 years as a landscape professional. So when he began to play on the supplier side, he focused on what he knew was important to him and fellow landscapers: variety, quality, fast service and reliability.

 

This story is one of three that appeared in Lawn & Landscape’s Business Builder e-newsletter. To keep reading about D.S. Enterprises Lawn & Landscaping and Cherry Valley Landscape Center:

Exploring the supply side

Staying small, growing big: D.S. Enterprises chooses quality work over quantity.
 

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